Apparently worried by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, three foremost women groups in the nation's maritime and transportation industry have collaborated to support the fight against deadly pandemic by donating relief materials to dockworkers, yesterday.
Speaking during the presentation, the Vice President of Women In Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA-Nigeria), Mrs. Anna Akpan said the essence was to augment what the Federal Government and top agencies like the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC), the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding (CRFN) among others, have done to contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
According to her, "We felt that women in the maritime industry as well as the entire transport sector could do something to support the noble initiative, hence WISTA led the call to have the three women groups come together to make this donation"
"You can see that we didn't just settle for precautionary items like hand wash, sanitizers and toiletries, but we went further to get food items because we know that at such time, these dockworkers also need to eat well to stay healthy. This is our contribution to stem the spread of coronavirus. It is a collaboration by WISTA Nigeria, WIMAfrica and WILAT", she said.
Akpan urged the dock workers to adhere to the basic hygiene such as washing their hands regularly, using hand sanitizers, coughing into elbows, maintaining social distancing, among others.
The vice President further commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Lagos State Government to curb the spread of the pandemic, she opined that the lockdown should have been initiated weeks earlier.
According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic would be contained in the next few weeks if Nigerians religiously adhere to the stipulated measures and the lockdown.
On her part, the President of Women In Maritime Africa-Nigeria, Hajia Bola Muse expressed delight to be involved in the support dedicated to dockworkers.
"We know that this is small compared to what some agencies have already done. However, this will go a long way in their lives of the recipients. We are mothers and you can see it in our donation as we also included food items to enable these people survive Covid-19 and the lockdown", she said.
Muse added that the presentation was a way to support people in the maritime sector, especially dockworkers and seafarers, noting that it showed women could also support.
The President of Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT), Mrs. Folake Soji-George, also described the donation as a worthwhile venture, even as she expressed optimism that it would further enhance the relationship between the groups as they continue to make significant contributions in the maritime and entire transport sector.
On her part, the Secretary, Board of Trustees (BOT), Nigerian Seafarers Welfare Board; Dr. Amos Kuje thanked the women groups for the donation.
"Not every Nigerian seafarer has access to these kind of materials that you have donated and the board would do everything to ensure that these get to the seafarers that it is meant for. Thank you very much for this," he said.